A total of 1.15 million county court judgements (CCJs) were pursued during 2019, making it a record year of action against consumers in debt, the Registry Trust has revealed.
Registry Trust chairman Mick McAteer said that a growing number of vulnerable households are “facing severe financial strain” after data compiled by the body showed that the total value of consumer debt being chased via CCJs amounted to over £1.7bn last year – an eight percent rise on 2018.
Mick McAteer, chairman of Registry Trust, told a report in Credit Strategy magazine that the results demonstrated that “there is no room for complacency”, despite suggestions that the sustained low-level interest rates could have been expected to ease the debt burden on UK households.
He added: “The latest data from Registry Trust shows that a growing number of vulnerable households are facing severe financial strain.”
In Q4 last year the number of CCJs issued against consumers in England and Wales increased slightly in Q4 2019 compared to the same period last year.
But, the value of judgments saw a significant increase of 17%.
McAteer said: “Registry Trust data on CCJs is a critical indicator of the state of UK household finances.
“The number of CCJs has seen huge growth in the post financial crisis period and this quarter are 111% higher than the same quarter in 2012 when they reached a post crisis low.”
Credit Strategy magazine reported that the average value for consumer CCJs in 2019 reached £1,506, an increase of 5% year-on-year.
Bank of England data for last month showed that UK households owe £72.5bn on credit cards following a rise of £400m in November 2019 alone.
Total outstanding consumer credit – including credit cards, store cards, car finance and personal loans – grew 7% in the same month to £215.4bn.